Saturday, 24 November 2007 12:55 PM

Govt. to Challenge GG Over Declaration of Parliament Meeting

The Government will be challenging the declaration of the date for the resumption of the next Parliament session by the Governor General, His Excellency Sir Nathaniel Waena.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said Sir Nathaniel's declaration of December 13, 2007 as the date for the resumption of parliament was done without the advice of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, thus the government would be lodging a challenge in the High Court.

He said under the Solomon Islands National Constitution, the Governor General could only proclaim the date for the reconvening of Parliament at the advise of the Prime Minister or the Cabinet.

The Governor General's declaration came only a day after announcing in his national address that he would only call parliament to sit upon the advice, or in consultation, with the Prime Minister or the cabinet.

Mr Sogavare said it was unfortunate that the Governor General had later decided to act unlawfully by unilaterally recalling parliament.

Mr Sogavare said Cabinet will meet tomorrow, Sunday, to decide on the date for the next Parliament sitting.

He said the delay in reconvening parliament on November 15, 2007 as initially planned, was necessary to allow the Minister of Finance and Treasury, Francis Zama, to be briefed on the government budget for next year before it will be tabled in the next sitting of the House.

The Prime Minister said as a responsible government, the Grand Coalition for Change Government would always abide by its obligations as stipulated in the Solomon Islands National Constitution and the Parliamentary Standing Orders.